The man of lawlessness

Dear children, the last hour is here. You have heard that the Antichrist is coming, and already many such antichrists have appeared. From this we know that the last hour has come. 1 John 2:18 NLT


John from the text, being a perceptive and wise pastor to the Christian community provides a warning that should be heeded by every believer whom he refers to as “dear children.” God has given him the ability to analyze the present as well as to provide warnings as to what to expect in the coming future. We need to understand the sinful age we are in for in the last hour, “the Antichrist is coming.” John looks at the spiritual development and the growing opposition to Christ in the world by denying His claim that He is the Messiah and declares that “many such antichrists have appeared.” From the previous passage, he says, “this world is fading away, along with everything that people crave. But anyone who does what pleases God will live forever” (1 John 2:17). John observes that the influence and spirit of the antichrist is already here in this world. And those who denies Jesus is the Christ is referred to by John as the “antichrists.” It seems to indicate that the term, “the last hour” that John used from the text refers to the time between Jesus’ first coming and the second coming. No one knows the day when Jesus will return: “The Father alone has the authority to set those dates and times, and they are not for you to know” (Acts 1:7). The readers of the epistle heard Jesus’ warning in the gospel about the events that will transpire in the last hour. “‘For many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am the Messiah.’ They will deceive many… For false messiahs and false prophets will rise up and perform great signs and wonders so as to deceive, if possible, even God’s chosen ones. See, I have warned you about this ahead of time’” (Matthew 24:5, 24-25). The man of lawlessness or the Antichrist will set his own place of worship and proclaim himself God. “Don’t be fooled by what they say. For that day will not come until there is a great rebellion against God and the man of lawlessness is revealed—the one who brings destruction. He will exalt himself and defy everything that people call god and every object of worship. He will even sit in the temple of God, claiming that he himself is God” (2 Thessalonians 2:3-4). John, though he believes that the Antichrist will appear, he is more interested in reminding the believers to be aware of their priorities in life. We have to have a serious examination of what is in our hearts and to whom our allegiance belongs. “Do not love this world nor the things it offers you, for when you love the world, you do not have the love of the Father in you” (1 John 2:15). Since we do not know the hour of Jesus’s return, we have to obey His command to share the message of salvation. “And you will be my witnesses, telling people about me everywhere—in Jerusalem, throughout Judea, in Samaria, and to the ends of the earth” (Acts 1:8).



Blessings,



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